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San Diego Dining Rooms Can Officially Reopen

Dine-in service is back, but is San Diego ready?

Fort Oak
Haley Hill Photography

Late Wednesday night, San Diego County was given state approval to enter phase 2B of the reopening process, which means that restaurant dining rooms can now be reopened and retail stores can resume in-person shopping. The news comes just a day after San Diego requested permission to move to Stage 2B of the state’s four-stage reopening plan after the county met Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recently loosened metrics for reopening.

Before reopening, restaurants and food businesses will first need to comply with the county’s new safety regulations, which includes guidance regarding COVID-19 prevention and a reopening checklist as well as a San Diego Restaurant Operating Protocol form and San Diego Safe Dining posters with measures that must be implemented and then posted at public entrances.

Required measures include:

  • Conducting daily thermal or temperature scans of employees
  • Disinfecting high contact touch points, such as phones, door handles, and credit card terminals
  • Spacing all tables six feet apart or if un-movable, installing a barrier or partition to separate tables
  • Mandating that customers wear face coverings when not seated at their table
  • Prohibiting tableside food preparation and presentation of foods, such as food selection carts and tableside guacamole

The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation(EDC) and San Diego SBDC have also developed guides to help small retail and restaurant establishments reopen. There’s also state guidance for dine-in restaurants that can be reviewed for more advice.

“We’ve been preparing everyone for this day. We talked extensively on the lead up to this. And we said once we got the green light form the state we wouldn’t hold anyone back,” County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher told 10News last night, adding, “So any restaurant that has completed their safe reopening plan, has posted it outside to their employees can open effective immediately.”